SCHOOL BUS CRASH-FATAL
Officials: NC school bus driver dead after crash
ZIRCONIA, N.C. (AP) — School officials in North Carolina say a school bus driver is dead and four students were taken to a hospital after a crash. Henderson County Public Schools officials say the crash happened Tuesday morning when the bus flipped as it traveled on Green River Road in Zirconia. School officials say North Carolina Highway Patrol and medics responded and determined that the driver, Tina Gordon, was dead. Officials say Gordon, a “beloved” bus driver from East Henderson High School, had been with county schools for 10 years. The cause of her death is not yet known. Officials say the four students who were on the bus at the time were taken to local hospitals for observation and evaluation.
STOLEN MERCHANDISE-THREE ARRESTED
Three women arrested for thefts from two N. Carolina stores
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Police say three women were arrested after thefts from two North Carolina stores in which more than $1,600 in merchandise was taken. Asheville police said in a news release on Monday that officers were notified of the theft at a Walmart late Sunday night in which suspects left the store with the merchandise and fled in a vehicle. Police located the car and arrested three women and charged them each with felony larceny. One of the three women was also charged with carrying a concealed gun, while police charged another woman with possession of a stolen vehicle and financial card theft.
MEATPACKING PLANT SHOOTING
Man gets up to 20 years for shooting at NC meatpacking plant
ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina prosecutor says a man was sentenced to prison nearly two years after he shot and wounded two people at a meatpacking plant. Bladen County District Attorney Jon David said in a news release that Jaquante Hakeem Williams was sentenced to between 188 months to 250 months in prison on Monday for the attempted murder of two Smithfield Foods Inc. employees. Williams was identified as a contract employee who entered the administrative building in Tar Heel around 12:14 a.m. and shot two workers. Deputies said Williams surrendered after he ran from the plant into a wooded area.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-EMERGENCY POWERS
NC governor vetoes another bill reining in emergency powers
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed the latest Republican attempt to rein in his gubernatorial powers during an emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor vetoed on Monday a measure that would have required other elected leaders to sign off on long-term emergency declarations. Many GOP officials and their allies have complained about Cooper’s directives restricting commerce and requiring masks that ensued following his coronavirus declaration in March 2020. Cooper said the bill would have discouraged decisive and quick action to respond to an emergency. Republican lawmakers are unlikely to locate the votes needed to override the veto.
NC congressional map that helps GOP gets Senate panel’s OK
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republicans have advanced a proposed congressional district map that would make it easier for the state GOP to increase its number of seats on Capitol Hill. A Senate committee voted Monday for a redistricting plan that reflects population gains counted during the 2020 census that yielded a new 14th seat for North Carolina. The plan, if enacted, would put Republicans in a strong position to win 10 of those seats beginning with the 2022 elections. State Republicans currently hold an 8-5 seat advantage. Democrats say the proposal is an unlawful partisan gerrymander that needlessly divides the largest counties too much.
TWO DEAD-DOMESTIC INCIDENT
Man, woman dead and infant hospitalized after shootings
LENOIR, N.C. (AP) — A man and woman are dead and an infant is hospitalized following a shooting at a North Carolina home on Monday, police said.The Lenoir Police Department said in a news release that officers were sent to a home at around noon, and when they arrived, they found two adults and an infant with gunshot wounds. The officers called emergency medical personnel and performed life-saving measures, police said.The news release said Anthony Maurice Stevenson Jr., 24, and Shantel Leighann Harper, 21, were pronounced dead at a local hospital. The infant was taken by helicopter to a Charlotte hospital and was listed in critical condition on Monday.
RACIAL EQUITY-INVESTMENT INITIATIVE
Charlotte corporate leaders invest $250M in racial equity
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Some of the biggest corporations in North Carolina’s largest city are joining government leaders in launching a $250 million initiative for racial equity. The Charlotte Observer reports that in 2020, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles asked the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council to create a corporate response to decades of laws and policies that disadvantaged Black and brown residents. On Monday they announced the Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative. Officials also pointed out that investments will target bridging the digital divide, diversifying leadership of the city’s biggest companies and Charlotte’s historically disinvested areas now targeted for public and private money.
WILD HORSE DIES
Wild horse dies after drinking contaminated water
COROLLA, N.C. (AP) — Contaminated water is being blamed for the death of a wild horse on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. News outlets report that the Corolla Wild Horse Fund announced that an 8-year-old stallion known as Taco died last week. The horse was known because of a lump he had on his hip. The group says he’s the fourth stallion in the last two years to die due to bacteria or other contaminants in the water. The group has collected water from various locations in the horse’s territory and will send it out for testing. They hope that this will reveal the quality of the water and presence of contaminants such E. coli and salmonella.
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